Raising capital is not always the only option

Instead, start focusing on pitching for revenue

Raising capital is not always the only optionMost of us in the entrepreneurial space, whether building, supporting or funding early-stage companies, assume attracting investor capital is just the normal course of business. We have been conditioned to believe or accept that once an entrepreneur gets a business underway, raising investor capital is just part of the plan. Some entrepreneurs begin crafting their…

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalist

If you can't make your pitch within 10 minutes, however, you're not ready

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalistHow you approach a venture capitalist (VC) can be the difference between receiving a quick glance or gaining direct attention. It can be very tempting to cold call venture capital via web search results or chase down a harried VC at an entrepreneur event. While those attempts may work, it's a low probability tactic and…

How to put a value on your technology startup

Attributing value is a source of countless rolled eyes, smacked foreheads and arguments

How to put a value on your technology startupWhen a new company is launched, the odds are stacked heavily against the entrepreneur. It is stacked especially high against the tech entrepreneur. University of Tennessee Research tells us that more than half of all new businesses fail by the end of year four but only 37 per cent of technology businesses remain operable by…

Friends rarely make the best business partners

If you want to keep them as friends, leave them there

Friends rarely make the best business partnersA big part of entrepreneurship is choosing your partners. Over the life of the venture you will likely spend a great deal more of your waking hours with your business partners than you will with your spouse or any significant other who cares to hang about in a non-paid capacity for that matter. A lot…

All venture capitalists are not created equal

Don't be that guy who gets mad after buying a car without first performing a test drive

All venture capitalists are not created equalMost times, raising capital is a tough haul. Endless pitching, gruelling due diligence and an enormous commitment of time and money are usually required. But, once in a while, a company rises and grabs the attention and the imagination of a swarm of venture capitalists (VCs) in a relatively short period of time. Maybe the…

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymore

The differences between angels and VCs are no longer quite so clearly visible as they once were

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymoreThe start-up is going well and now it’s time to pursue capital. The friends and family networks are running thin. Who are you going to call? Angel groups exist across the country and there are VCs (venture capitalists) you might want to see. The rule of thumb is to call them all: both angels and…

Beware the bad investor

Here are a few warning signs that you may be falling into the clutches of a bad investor

Beware the bad investorIn an ideal scenario, your deal has attracted such interest that you have the luxury of choosing your investor. Most entrepreneurs are not afforded this luxury and will often need to take the investment dollar that is offered. This I understand. Raising money for emerging companies can be incredibly difficult so, when money is offered,…

What to do if your start-up is suffering Founderitis

Founderitis rips a blade across the throat of opportunity and buries potential in the soft sand of ego

What to do if your start-up is suffering FounderitisThink of entrepreneurs as explorers. To survive and thrive, they have to confront an ever-changing world and wrestle with the future. If they don't, they die. They often do not and cannot know the exact course they must take to successfully realize their vision, but they have the courage to leave shore anyway. You gotta…

Beware of the revolving-door venture capitalist

What happens when your great VC buddy who helped you through so much is gone?

Beware of the revolving-door venture capitalistA start-up that takes its fundraising seriously has to allow its CEO to tackle the project full-time for up to a year. The founders have studied the due diligence requirements ahead of the process, and they approach the investment community in an orderly and structured fashion. The founders and CEO work hard to listen to…

The necessary perils of entrepreneurship

Real value does not come from the idea alone. Great ideas without execution are empty roadside soda cans

The necessary perils of entrepreneurshipThere were nearly 900 people seated at round tables alternating small talk with bites of chicken. The ballroom was glamorous, the chicken was dry and few paid attention to the joke-telling emcee. "My wife says that if I don't give up golf, she's going to leave me. I'm really going to miss her! Har har!…